KENDAL bike ace James Ellison enjoyed jubilation and frustration on the opening weekend of the 2013 British Superbiking Championship season at Brands Hatch.

Ellison had a dramatic opening race. Prior to the start of the warm up lap his visor had detached from his helmet and he was wheeled off the grid for it to be fixed.

He then incurred a ride through penalty for taking an incorrect grid position at the start of the race and this cost him the opportunity to win the race, with him coming out of the pits in last and way behind his rivals.

The consolation for the Cumbrian rider, making his debut with the Milwaukee Yamaha team after a year in MotoGP, was that he set the fastest lap to earn pole start for the second race.

He then led and set the pace in the second race before holding off the late dramatic challenge from last year’s BSB winner Shane Byrne to take the win, although Ellison said he was unaware of the threat such was his comfort at the front of the pack.

Byrne took the lead in the second race on the first corner but Ellison overtook him at the start of the second lap and he led the pack for the rest of the race.

“I was disappointed with the visor coming off. That’s never happened before but it’s one of those things.

“We got a lot of information out of that first race so we knew we were strong for the second race.

“I think people underestimated us for the second race - nobody knew we had the pace we did so that’s why I think we caught them off guard.

“As far as I’m aware he tried to make a move but I didn’t see anything, and if we can beat Shakey (Byrne) here we can beat him anywhere.”

Ellison dedicated the victory to his father Bruce, who lost his battle with cancer in September last year.

Ellison took his seventh career MCE BSB victory ahead of Alex Lowes, making his debut for Samsung Honda, and Byrne while returning triple champion Ryuichi Kiyonari brought his Samsung Honda home in fourth place, just ahead of Brookes.

Shane Byrne began the defence of his crown by taking the opening race win of the season on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit.

Next up for Ellison is Thruxton this weekend - the track where he broke his femur in 2010.

Three years ago Ellison finished third and first on the opening weekend of the season before the Thruxton weekend ended his season, but despite the very similar circumstances he faces this year, he insists he has good memories of the Hampshire track, and is feeling confident that lightning will not strike twice in 2013.

Ellison lies fourth in the table after the first round, 16 points behind leader Byrne.


Race one result

1:Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki); 2:Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) +1.376s; 3:Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +6.207s; 4:Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) +9.009s; 5:Tommy Bridewell (Bathams Honda) +9.326s; 6:Keith Farmer (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +13.351s

Race two result

1:James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha); 2:Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) +1.997s; 3:Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +5.904s; 4:Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) +11.507s; 5:Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +15.974s; 6:Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) +21.280s

Championship standings

1:Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 41; 2:Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) 40; 3:Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) 27; 4:James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) 25; 5:Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) 23; 6:Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) 21